As a result of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, exhausting working hours, the use of high technology and inactivity, an increase in cases of lumbar disc herniation is observed. But you can prevent a lumbar disc herniation that occurs in any age group with a few simple changes that you can make in your life. Memorial Service and Bahçelievler Hospitals Brain, Nerve, Spinal Cord and Spine Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Onur Yaman gave information about the causes and methods of treatment of lumbar disc herniation.
Do not lift heavy weights, do not make sudden movements
The disc between the vertebrae has important functions. The disc holds the upper part of the body upright, taking the loads exerted on the lower back, and allows the waist to move in all directions. The inside of the disc is more watery and the outside is made up of a harder structure. With the progression of age, the nucleus pulposus located inside loses its watery structure and the height of the disc, which should be flexible, decreases. The disc distance cannot carry the loads it is exposed to and starts to protrude with the tear that appears on the outer part of the disc. Lifting heavy weights, sudden movement, traffic accidents or sudden forces applied in cases of falling from a height cause a disk rupture.
Stay away from excessive weight and cigarettes to avoid getting a lumbar disc herniation
Although lumbar disc herniation is usually a condition of middle-aged people, it can occur in any age group. We can list the risk factors of the disease, which has a higher risk of being seen in those with a family history of lumbar disc herniation as follows;
- Obesity: The discs that provide the flexibility of the spine are deformed due to the pressure of excess weight, which leads to a lumbar disc herniation. You can minimize the risk of lumbar disc herniation by losing excess weight.
- Sedentary life : The neck, back, lower back and abdominal muscles are the most important helpers of the spine, which carries the weight of the body. A sedentary life away from exercise weakens the auxiliary muscles, causing the entire load to be loaded on the spine. And excessive load on the spine leads to herniations of the discs.
- Lifting heavy weights: Excessive load on the lumbar region of people who work in jobs that require heavy physical activity and have to lift heavy loads causes herniation. For this reason, the person should do any work that requires heavy physical activity by protecting their back.
- Smoking: Smoking should be avoided so as not to increase disc degeneration.
It can cause a loss of strength in your leg
The ruptured disc causes pressure on the nerve root and causes back and leg pain. Back pain, which increases when moving and sitting, usually subsides when resting. Leg pains described by patients as sharp and electric shocks can be observed at different parts of the leg according to the affected nerve root. With the progression of the disease, numbness and tingling in the legs of the patients, weakness or loss of function in the legs occur. In addition, the compression of the last part of the spinal cord causes urinary incontinence problem in the patients.
If resting does not relieve your lower back-leg pain...
Patients diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation are prescribed physical therapy if their complaints do not go away despite resting and the use of pain medications. If the patient's pain continues despite the treatments, the patient should be examined with advanced imaging methods. If the patient's complaints, examination and imaging methods match, surgery is recommended to the patient. By removing the mechanical pressure on the nerves coming out of the spinal cord with surgery, the patient is provided to live a healthy life.
Prepared by the Medical Editorial Board. Our health library contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with the scientific content on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.